9th August 2023
Read - Ezekiel 11:14-25
Message - Alan Burke
First Posted 8th July 2022
The departure of the Glory of God from the city of Jerusalem is here detailed (22-25), how the Lord on His throne chariot is carried by the cherubim. It leaves the city and moves east across the Kidron valley to the mount of olives, then it moves outside the city limits to the far off distance, taking Ezekiel back to the exiles. This is the departure of God from His dwelling place. With the vision over, the verdict was in, God had departed, judgment was coming, the Lord is indeed the LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love (Ps103:8), He had been long-suffering with His people, they were disobedient, they were rebellious, the Lord for years had called them through His prophets to repentance but they were despondent, they did not listen, and now the sign of His presence had left.
But in the midst of this striking scene that portrayed God’s judgement as His Glory departed there was a great and glorious hope of what the Lord would indeed do. Yes He would bring His Judgment on this rebellious people but through the remnant God’s purposes would be fulfilled. They would be the ones God would use, they were His remnant, yes some would survive in Isreal even with the coming judgement of the Babylonians but God was reversing the fortunes of those who were facing death in exile, they would be those who would be redeemed, brought back, given life. Whereas those who were in Isreal who thought they had life, who thought they were safe, they would face death. Although the sanctuary had been the temple in Jerusalem, for those who were exiled God Himself was their sanctuary (16).
This prophecy that came to Ezekiel in time was fulfilled, God kept his promises, Judgement came and those who had been scattered in the exile returned. The Lord was making it clear to His people how on day, a future day they would return, those who had gone out would come back for his purposes. Not only would there be a physical return to the land there was also be a spiritual return to the Lord God, there would be revival among them. As His remnant returned, as the exiles came back they removed the “vile images” and “detestable idols,” that they found. Even though those in Isreal had faced the judgement of God for their false religion they continued on in it until the exiles returned. For God put a new spirit in them, He would and did remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
It turned out to be the exiles who, who after living in pagan lands for so long came back desiring the things of God, they had been taken and seen that the grass on the other side was far from green and they longed for the things of God. Notice though that for those who remained in the land, there is no such promise of hope. God was working out His purposes and for those who had all the vestiges of religion, in the promised land, in God’s holy city, with His dwelling place in their midst instead received the judgement that they fully deserved. This is so important that we understand, because here we might have all the vestiges of religion but unless we have a new heart those things mean nothing, what we need is a new heart! when we have repented and believed God has given us a new heart and there is hope even when things look bleak we must remember that God is working out His purposes, as we repent and believe we are God’s people, He is our God and when this life ends, as we have a great and glorious hope that we will dwell in His presence forever.
Q13 Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God. (Gen. 3:6–8,13, Eccl. 7:29)